Welcome back to my Top 20 Songs of 2016!
In case you missed the first 10, you can check them out here.
Well, let's get back to it; here are my Top 10 Songs of 2016
10) "Call Off Your Dogs" - Lake Street Dive
I have listened to so much Lake Street Dive since I stumbled upon "Call Off Your Dogs" last March, and I have never stopped loving their mix of 1960s pop rock, jazz, blues and motown. This is still probably my favourite track, if only because it was the first one I discovered, but basically everything off of Side Pony is wonderful...
...though there's just something about the warm feeling I get listening to "Call Off Your Dogs" that's rare...I think it might be thanks to the whistling...
9) "Stop the Rain" - NATIVES
Everyone needs a feel good pop song, and this year, this one was mine. Native's "Stop the Rain" is unabashedly upbeat, fun pop music which they wrote after they decided to follow their love of percussion sound to Morocco. In the end, it's not the deepest song (lyrically), but once you start knowing this song, it is hard (really, really hard) to not "Yeaaaah" along with them during the chorus.
I mentioned back in August that this was a song that I felt should be popping up as a "late summer, fun, pop track" on the radio, and lo and behold....it totally didn't.
Which is a shame, and is an excellent reason why I am going to continue writing "Tuesday Tunes".
8) "Genghis Khan" - Miike Snow
I did say that I was going to wade a little bit into popular music for this list, as I did last year, but honestly, it was a fairly weak year as far as I am concerned, save for a couple exceptions...the first of which being Miike Snow's "Genghis Khan".
I have always been a Miike Snow fan, and iii was another great album, with "Genghis Khan" being the second single to be released back in January of this year. I love the weird, James Bond-style video (their dance together!! eeeee!), plus it's super catchy, it's very danceable, it's fun, and it's just an awesome dance pop track that I feel got a little overshadowed because it did come out so damn early in 2016.
7) "People Crying Every Night" - A R I Z O N A
Every few weeks, I just get "People Crying Every Night" in my head...and it just pops in there out of the blue, and then I end up listening to it a few times that day. It's just...while it is a bet melancholy, it's such a good, mellow indie pop song that...it had to be on here, and I was not surprised at all to see A R I Z O N A working their way into my Top 10.
This is one of the best "staring out the window at the rain/snow" songs, especially on really good headphones, and with a really good drink.
6) "Wow" - Beck
I talk about Beck all the time....but here is where I talked about "Wow"
No one who knows me, or reads/listens to our content knows that I love Beck, and have always loved Beck....so as long as he keeps releasing these fun and funky (and often strange) songs, they are going to keep popping up on my lists.
I think "Wow" would probably make a Top 10 Beck songs list for me, I like the sound, I like the strange flute, the beat...it's like...wow...
...and yes, if you do ask me (on Twitter or wherever you like) I will do a Top 10 Beck songs for you, though it may kill me.
5) "Pen to Paper" - Modern Space
Now technically this video came out in September 2015, but "Pen to Paper" was truly released on their debut EP Before Sunrise which came out this year, so I feel good about including it.
I actually had forgotten about "Pen to Paper" until recently when I started going through all of my playlists in order to get ready for this feature, and now I'm listening to "Pen to Paper" and indeed, Before Sunrise once every few days.
Plus, this is a a great indie-alternative rock song, that trends a little heavier than a lot of my favourites this year: "Pen to Paper" has an abundance of energy, and such a great sound to it that I hope more and more indie rock fans (and I mean rock fans) give Modern Space a shot.
4) "Water" - Ra Ra Riot
Ra Ra Riot combined with Rostam Batmanglij (of Vampire Weekend) for a few songs from their 2016 album Need Your Light and "Water" is just pure, awesome synthpop. This some of Ra Ra Riot's best work; while I do enjoy some of their "baroque pop" from their earlier albums, this move into synthpop, with a track begging to be listened to on a lazy day at home (where you can belt out the chorus in your most awkward falsetto) is them finding a new gear.
3) "rock + roll" - EDEN
This song still amazes me; every time (EVERY TIME) I listen to it, and that guitar kicks in for the first time, and I get a little shiver; this is damn good. The combination of r&b, electronic and lo-fi rock is amazing, and really, his whole debut i think you think too much of me is worth a listen, but nothing will make me forget that feeling I had the first time I heard "rock + roll", that kick happens, and I literally stop everything I am doing and say "Oh! Fuck yeah".
Keep your eye out for more EDEN, I for one can't wait to hear what is next.
2) "Howl" - Biffy Clyro
Spoilers, if you haven't listened to our "Best of 2016" podcast yet, this song (and the next one) are going to be talking about some of my favourite things....
Scottish alt-rock band Biffy Clyro are awesome; they just take genres and styles of rock and mash them together into their sort of hybrid-rock style. In "Howl" it sounds a lot like a mix of Foo Fighters and 90s college radio, but is wholly Biffy Clyro.
"Howl" is off of Ellipses, which is my album of the year, and...well there are a number of songs on that album that could have potentially been here (like "Re-Arrange", which I actually discussed on the podcast), but I had to go with "Howl" because I heard it first, and it was really the song that cemented the band into my library. I cannot tell you how many times I have listened to "Howl", but rest assured, that number is high.
1) "Swim" - Valley
There was almost no way that "Swim" was going to be unseated for my number one song of 2016. I heard this song six weeks before I had a means to share it with you guys here, and I listened to it a whole pile throughout those weeks...and with some songs, I get tired of them, or that feeling wears out, but I know that "Swim" was my song of the summer, and I have continued to bring it up at least a couple of times a week and listen to it, often on repeat once it comes up.
"Swim" is a damn fine alt-folk track, which kicks through a couple different feelings, builds and ebbs musically, not to mention a beautiful split between solo and harmonic vocals, and....man I just don't know what else I can say about this track other than:
"Swim" by Valley off of their album The Room is White is the TGF Song of 2016.
And it's pretty damn good live too.
As promised, here is the Apple Music Playlist for the Top 20 Songs of 2016
Next week, we should be returning to more of a regular music setup, so I will see you on Tuesday.